Oct. 14, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton plays for the Salt River Rafters during an Arizona Fall League game against the Surprise Saguaros at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Twins 2012 Draft Highlights (1st pick 2nd overall)
The stark contrast in draft quality begins, and while much of that can be attributed to positioning, the turnaround of the farm system is the group to benefit.
Obviously the track record of Buxton is well noted. He’s arguably the best prospect in baseball, and the Twins got that pick absolutely right. He is ready to push for the centerfield spot in 2015, and would have likely been an even more realistic option had he not dealt with injuries throughout 2014. Expect a clean bill of health this year, and the excitement to only build.
Berrios was a high pick, but never garnered the attention he was deserving of until he broke out last season. Pitching across all three levels of the farm system, Berrios fully entrenched himself onto the nation scene. He will have a prove it year this season to solidify that last year was no outlier.
Drafted out of college, Bard should have been somewhat of a quick riser. He’s now 23 and hasn’t surpassed rookie ball. The younger brother of Daniel Bard, Luke has dealt with injuries, and has thrown only 19 innings in two major league seasons. He failed to pitch at all in 2014.
In 2014, Melotakis made his Double-A debut. He will turn 24 during the 2015 season, and will likely start out in Double-A Chatanooga. His 3.00 career ERA is solid, but his 3.3 BB/9 isn’t a great mark. If Melotakis wants to see the major leagues, he’s going to need a strong 2015 season.
Outside of Miguel Sano, maybe no Twins minor leaguer has their power talked about more than Walker. Launching home runs is his forte, and he’s hit 66 across three professional seasons. He’s 23 now, and his average has been ugly (.259/.312/.484 career line). He needs to cut down on his strikeouts, take more walks, and make contact at a higher rate if he wants to climb the organizational ladder.